Tips from a Gentleman: Torn Between Two Lovers? ~ David McConaghay

Via on Sep 10, 2012

Masculine Logic for Women in the Aquarian Age.

Dear David: I am a 30-year-old female yoga teacher and pre-med student struggling with a choice between two men I met while volunteering in Africa. One man is a sensuous artist with whom I had the best love-making ever—we even had make-believe marriage ceremony at Africa Burning Man where we met. The other man, who I call the “prince,” is a financially well-established entrepeneur and humanitarian I met in Cape Town, with whom I had a romantic two-week fling and began to fall in love. The artist, like me, at least lives in North America—though he is black and my parents are conservative, if not prejudiced. The Prince lives in a far-away land and moving to another continent to be with him seems daunting. Any advice?”

First of all, congratulations! You have overcome the biggest obstacle most of us encounter when it comes to love.

Which is to say, you have options—and from the sound of it, these are two very attractive, worldly, creative, compassionate, fun-to-be-naked-with options. Well done. Celebrate.

Take a moment (let’s all, shall we) to recognize precisely how blessed you are to have created such intensely loving, ecstatic experiences for yourself. It’s beautiful, and shows that you are an adept surfer of the proverbial wave, able to remain open to the flow of pleasurable boons this life offers.

That being said, does your surfboard come with a rudder? Is it possible you are being swept out to sea? I might also take a moment to check in with your anchor (whatever that may be).

How often do you fall in love?  I for one fall in love constantly (at least twice a day), and have learned to work with that. It is a habit deserving of investigation, especially if major life changes are required in order to be with either one of these lucky gents.

How well do you really know this Prince? Can you picture yourself in a domestic situation with him? How does that play out? Is your connection deeply heart-felt, or is he the (perceived) embodiment of an intellectual ideal?

Continent-hopping definitely offers adventure, and is really not so complex as it sounds—storage unit/garage sale, suitcase, plane ticket and boom! Hi, honey, I’m here. But if the Prince is the primary motivating factor, with all secondary factors lagging out of sight, I would proceed with great caution.

Cape Town is a spectacular city, and I’m sure there is always room for a new yoga teacher, but making a move this big and bold necessarily exerts a certain amount of pressure on the relationship to succeed, and that pressure, be it subtle or explicit, is often a catalyst for its ultimate undoing.

Moving on, let me say that, though I understand this is easier said than done, and with all due respect for your parents, I would immediately eradicate their influence from your decision-making process. We’re talking about your life, and your happiness here. You are the one who gets to live with your decisions, so do what’s best for you and trust that they will figure out the rest.

Now, how serious are you about the Artist? Is this a shooting star that burns so so bright for a moment then disappears just as fast?  It sounds as though you met in passionate circumstances, and shared a beautiful time together, but what’s he like when he’s not romping on the Playa (or the African equivalent)?

I am curious about the nature of this “make-believe marriage ceremony.” No matter how playful and light-hearted it may have been, in my experience, rituals invoke great power and are not to be trifled with. Celebrate, yes, but beware of uncontrolled gaiety or false optimism.

Ultimately it comes down to what you are seeking in a relationship, and in relation to yourself. You are clearly a glorious lass with a lot to offer—not only to a romantic partner, but to the world—so use keen discernment to determine where your energies are best directed.

I have practical questions: where does med school and your yoga practice fit in to all this? How far away does the Artist live from where you are now? Would you consider a long-distance relationship with either Artist or Prince?

More conceptually, where does being with either of these gentlemen rank on your list of priorities? Are you willing to divert time and energy away from your personal goals to serve the goal of having this partner or the other?

Bearing witness to how effortless it was to manifest these two almost-ideal men in your life, I wonder if perhaps there are more where that came from? Is it possible these gentlemen are mere prologue to the whopper awaiting you as you continue on your own path, guided not by the whims of infatuation but seeking the highest possible good available in your one wild and precious life?

Seems to me that, although I have no doubt these are amazing men you’ve connected with, there are enough obstacles involved with both options to justify taking a long, hard look at what is most important to you, and what sacrifices you’re willing to make in service of that sense of purpose.

Which, of course, could very well mean you need to drop everything and jump on the next plane to Cape Town. Only you can know what is appropriate.

My experience in these situations shows me that most often, if it feels like both, then it’s actually neither. When drawn in multiple directions, my instinct is to detach, regroup and ground. I try to gather myself, centering all the pieces of me I’ve left strewn across our planet, and proceed with a clear sense of my basic needs and highest desires.

Then when I encounter the wave, I can consciously choose to steer into its wake and ride it all the way to shore, or to dive under it and wait for the next one, which might just be more my size.

Bon Chance!

This is the first of a bimonthly column of gentlemanly advice by David. If you have love life questions you would like him to answer from his logical and Aquarian-age style, write to him at [email protected].


~Editor: Lori Lothian


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About David McConaghay

David Telfer McConaghay was conceived in Toronto, born in North Carolina, and lived in Washington D.C. and Tokyo before arriving in Minneapolis at the age of 8. At 16 he moved to Connecticut, and has since inhabited D.C. for four more years, an island in Wisconsin, an ashram in Northern California, a national park in Maine, and taught English in Guadalajara, Mexico, and Bogota, Colombia before landing in Boulder, Colorado at the start of 2011. He loves all humans, but feels unique fondness for Jorge Luis Borges, Swami Sivananda, and Lionel Messi. David's personal website is He is an ambassador for and you are invited to email ElephantGentleman at gmail dot com or follow him on Twitter.



9 Responses to “Tips from a Gentleman: Torn Between Two Lovers? ~ David McConaghay”

  1. […] If you have love life questions you would like him to answer from … … Read more here: Tips from a Gentleman: Torn Between Two Lovers? – Elephant Journal ← Helpful Advice to Be a Better Person | Learn on the […]

  2. Love, love, love your advice! Well done!

  3. LynnBonelli says:

    I love it and agree 100% with this: "My experience in these situations shows me that most often, if it feels like both, then it’s actually neither". If there is no clear and defining 'feeling' for one over the other then {in most cases} neither is *enough*. Call me a romantic but in these situations I feel the choice is (or maybe even 'should' be) obvious. Looking forward to more installments!

  4. DaveTelf says:

    Thanks Lynn!

    Personally I prefer to frame the choice in terms of appropriateness, as opposed to "enough"ness. Saying that someone isn't enough suggests they are somehow less than whole, as if lacking a fundamental human feature, which I think is very rarely the case. Whereas it is all too common for two perfectly wonderful people to be less than appropriate in relation to each other. In this case, the choice is between two guys who are probably definitely "enough" to enjoy glorious relationships with any number of people, just not perfectly appropriate for our inquiring pre-med yoga teacher at this time.

    It's a semantic little quibble I know, but language wields power both subtle and explicit so I find it wise to be mindful of what's implied.

    The next installment "should" be up on Monday, September 24th. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Michael Diamond says:

    …totally skipped the discussion of dong size. Shame on you.

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